Regardless of what you name them, sales calls, consult calls, discovery calls, or something else: They’re a really, really important part of the sales process.
What’s the most important part? What virtual assistant discovery call questions you ask while you’re on it.
These questions start to show them why you’re the person they should work with other another VA. That’s why finding the right questions to ask is essential.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SALES CALLS
These meetings are your chance to learn about your potential client, their business and what kind of support they need in order to make sure you’re the perfect match. They give you a real 1:1 chance to gauge whether or not you and the business owner vibe well together and what their personality is like.
They also allow you to scope out any glaring red flags that might come to the surface as you chat through all the details of working together. I mean, you wouldn’t dive into a romantic relationship without going on a first date would you? That’s because you learn so much on that first date.
Consider discovery calls your first date of the virtual assistant world, because that’s exactly what they become.
To make sure that you feel confident and prepared going into your discovery calls with clients, I’m sharing some of my favorite questions to ask. These have helped me gather the information I need to know whether I want to work with new inquiries that reach out about my services, while also leaving them ready to sign the proposal and join our BB family.
Tell me about your business. Who do you serve?
This question allows your client to openly tell you about what the mission of their business is. It really helps to get the conversation going by allowing them to talk freely, while also gives you a better sense of what they actually do and who their target customer is.
You’ll start to gauge what kind of support they need from you based on what products or services they offer. I also like to note things they mention during this part of the call that I want to learn more about later in our conversation.
Have you worked with a Virtual Assistant before?
This is one of my favorite virtual assistant discovery call questions, because 9/10 it’s how I pin point red flag clients.
Red flag clients are those that leave you with an icky feeling about working with them, those that push your work boundaries and sound like they’re going to expect the world of you.
If the business owner you’re speaking with mentions that they have worked with 5 other virtual assistants before you, they might as well have a giant red alarm 🚨over their head. This is a sign that they might be difficult to work with or have unreasonable expectations from their team members.
I have to note here that if they mentioned they’ve worked with someone before, that’s not always a bad thing. I’ve have clients who come to me after their long-time virtual assistant left the team for another opportunity or something similar, which is totally expected and acceptable.
But hearing their reaction to this question can really tell you a lot about their work style and their expectations of their team.
Also on the flip side of things, if they say they haven’t worked with a VA before, you can expect to hold their hand a little more than normal at the start. This is simply to ensure they feel comfortable at every step of the way since it’ll be a new experience in handing over something they’ve worked super hard on to someone else.
What lead you to the decision of hiring more support at this time?
This can help you learn more about what projects they have going on or shifts they’re making in their business. It’ll help you understand how they’re expecting you to fit into that current vision of their business to know whether or not it’s something you’re comfortable with.
I’ve had clients reach out to me when they had a recent launch that went way better than they expected, so they need more help… yesterday. Others hired me because they were growing their family, so they couldn’t take on 70 hours a week anymore.
The responses you can get from this virtual assistant discovery call question can really range, but it tells you a lot about where the person is right now in their business.
This is one of the most humanizing questions you can ask, because you’re essentially saying, “So what the heck is going on that you wanna work with me?” and that can really tell you a lot!
What are the top three tasks your looking for help with?
One of the statements I hear from clients all the time is, “I don’t know what I need, I just know I need help.”
They’re so overwhelmed with work that they feel like they’re drowning, but they don’t know how to actually start handing things off to someone else.
This helps them breakdown that overwhelm by having them hone in on that handful of tasks that they can start to get off their plate with your support. This task list can help you create a starting point on what to focus on as you start working with them.
How many hours of support were you looking for?
Whether you’re still on the side hustle grind or working full-time in your business, you only have so many hours in the day. This will help ensure that you have the time in your calendar to give this potential client the support they’re looking for. Because if you work 40 hours a week already, you can’t reasonably take on a client for another 30.
Believe it or not, it’s not uncommon to read someone’s inquiry and think they need 20 hours of support and then learn on the call that they want 40. (or the other way around) So it’s good to confirm it.
This virtual assistant discovery call question also tells you whether the amount of support they want is feasible within the amount of time they want each month. If they want 30 hours worth of tasks completed every month but only want to purchase 15, that disconnect is something that needs to be discussed.
What’s your monthly and/or project budget?
Don’t be afraid to ask them what their ‘monthly budget’ is for hourly or retainer work and what their ‘project budget’ is for stand-alone services.
Clients won’t be surprised when you ask it, and it tells you immediately whether or not your partnership is feasible.
If a client can’t meet your pricing, simply be honest and let them know that you respect that everyone has budgets to meet and that you’d be happy to work with them in the future when everything aligns.
At the end of the day, it saves everyone time from staying on a call that wasn’t going anywhere anyways.
How did you hear about me [my VA business]?
If you don’t know where the client you’re holding a discovery call with learned about you, make sure you find out.
This tells you what marketing strategies are working in your business. If you find that five calls in a row all said they found you in a Facebook group, then you know that should be your main focus in finding clients. If they say they a current client referred you, then you need a referral discount program.
It simply helps you to find more clients in less time by putting your efforts where they’re actually paying off.
What questions do you have for me?
After you learn about their business and get the information you need, open the floor up to them.
It allows them to calm any fears they have in outsourcing by getting the information they need to feel confident about taking the step in hiring you. This question can also help you learn more about the client’s business, because they will usually share more about their company and what they’re working on during this stage of the call.